I know, it's a scary prospect, but it has been done, and if my respite angel is in a good mood, it'll be done again. Speaking of angels, there are few people better than family. My baby sister has zero patience for kids, yet she's a special education aide and she has two of her own. She continues to struggle with children, yet she's committed and dedicated to her children and students. And on occasion, those rare moments in life that require self-pinching, she even extends her care to my children. Not that she doesn't love my kids and isn't an awesome aunt, on the contrary, but she's got typical 'grandmother syndrome' where she enjoys them but hands them back sooner than later. And yet she's a chicken, much like myself, to where if husband is gone over night, there'd better be a sleep over. Sure enough, with hubby and oldest daughter in D.C., my sister needed company. I really lucked out. My mother does respite for me and decided to kill a couple of birds with one stone (not Kindsay's way, the figurative way.) She took Kindsay to my sister's to provide security for my sister and a break for me. It was Friday morning and there was a carry-on sized suitcase by the front door next to Kindsay's backpack. I shrugged, assuming it was one of Kindsay's many bags that she carries non-essentials around with, like a hoarder on wheels, and I walked on by. Later my mother reminded me that she's getting Kindsay after school and does she have everything packed? Ahhh, thus the suitcase. I assured my mother that nothing she actually needed would be in the luggage and she would have to stop by my house on her way out to pick up the stuff she REALLY needs. Kindsay packs twelve pairs of underwear and no shirts, a tube of toothpaste and no toothbrush, etc. In any case, I'm telling my mom to help herself to whatever she needs in my house, even if that includes my own bed, because both Kindsay and I need the break. Afternoon came around, and I came home to an empty house, nodding in the satisfaction that my kitchen hadn't been raided since the night before, that my daughter wasn't spread-eagled over the toilet with the door wide open for me to catch sight of, that there wasn't a trail of crap leading to her mattress where she looms under a large down comforter waiting for her fellow passengers of the Kindsay Express to call her. It was great peace of mind to know where she was, that she was actually socializing and doing something fun, and that I had the night off. My mom's plan was to go to the movies, grab dinner, then go to Aunt Brit's to spend the night. I don't care if they went panhandling under a bridge, as long as Kindsay was out of the house instead of balled up in the corner of her bed in between hitting my cupboards with her grocery cart for hands. Evening came around I thought it might be good measure to check in with her, or my mom, and I called to no avail. Probably already in bed. Kindsay...she can really pull herself together when she wants t---- ring ring.....my house phone rings. I ignore it. Ring ring...my cell phone rings. It's Brit. Awww, how nice of her to call and fill me in on their adventures. How lovely of her to call to thank me for lending my little girl to her so she could enjoy a fun Friday night my way. Ahhh..."Yvette, are there any other pills we can use?"
My delusions are yanked back to reality as I look at the clock. Nine pm...which is late for them to be up considering my mom and sis are in bed no later than eight every night. "um...she took the Seroquel?"
"Yes, we gave her the usual pills, but she's kind of losing it tonight."
I'm ready to make the crackling sound in the phone and plead 'riding an elevator, can't talk,' but then I might be shooting all future opportunities out the door. Just please don't make me go pick her up.
"What do you mean? What's she doing?"
"Well...." now, my sister knows Kindsay, she's around her a lot and my mom has Kindsay even more often. They know my little cuckoo for cocoa puffs well and know to a degree what to expect. However, somethings can never be taken for granted. Like how well your children go to bed at night. Britney proceeds to fill me in on the insanity ensuing.
"We gave her the pills and then she went to bed but then she'll get up a second later and go in the bathroom and sit on the toilet. I can hear her talking but I don't know what she is talking about or why."
mmmmhmmmm....I wait for the abnormalities to surface....
"Uh, okay, then she goes back to bed, then she's up another second later in my kitchen. I can hear her opening up everything in my cupboards, which is no biggie because we're ready for shopping and she's eating the last of the last stuff before I go...but I don't hear an end to the food, cupboards, fridge, and stuff."
alright....I wait....the unusual behaviors must be next.
"Uh, then she goes back to bed and then she's up a second later back in the bathroom talking on the toilet." pause...silence...still waiting...
"Then I can hear my fridge open. Then I tell her to go to bed and she tells me to leave her alone and she's tired and stumbling around."
"Um....then she goes back to bed and then she jumps up again and goes back to the bathroom.....is there another pill? Mom is sharing a bed with her and she's not able to fall asleep with all that going on and my dogs are going nuts watching her...no one can settle down." I can hear the panic in her voice.
I have no other pills I tell her. But, Brit, this is all typical Kindsay, it's her routine, that's her sleep pattern. I just drown out the sounds with a box fan and look forward to the kitchen raid surprises in the morning by seeing what is left on the counters, in the sink, splattered in the microwave, and wrapped in foil in the fridge. Britney sees that she's in a corner and I can feel her frustration. "I know, my kid is weird." I give up...I'm on my way---"What if she takes an Ativan?" Oh yeah...my mom carries those in her poison ring...give her one of those, well, a half...and that should calm her down. I can hear Brit calling out orders for Ativan STAT to my mom and that was the last I heard from them. What Brit didn't realize is that my mom had taken an Ambien to help her sleep through the nonsense and it shut off her body but kept her subconsciousness awake enough to function as though she were really there. In other words, my mom has no recollection of the whole evening. Britney, had she known she was alone in that episode, probably would have called a taxi for Kindsay.
But what's the big deal? So Kindsay never stays in bed or sleeps through the night, or stays out of my kitchen for longer than twenty minutes, and prefers sitting on the toilet to have quality self-talk for hours on end....aren't we all creatures of habit?
Saturday afternoon came before I was ready, and my Kindsay Grace was back, stripped out of her clothes and drowned in a down comforter in the corner of her bed before I could ask how her sleep over was. Back to business. Brit called to tell me all was well after she took the pill. With all the casualness I could muster using the improvisational training from three drama classes, I tell her, "Hey, let me know if you ever want her back over to spend the night...whenever you want, okay?" Having a sleep over with Kindsay is like having a baby. You can't have another until you've forgotten the pains of having the last one. And since Brit's baby is ten, I may be waiting a while before another invite. I can hear the radio blasting out of Kindsay's room right now at 9:20 at night...while we are all stumbling to find sleep...she's ready to go again, making her check list of bathroom visits and kitchen raids for the evening. And I turn to the white noise...peace out.